• Puffins by Alan Tilmouth
  • Whitethroat by Alan Jack
  • Black Grouse by Chris Barlow

Meetings & Trips

Indoor Meetings

The club holds monthly indoor meetings between September and April that feature guest speakers on a wide-range of bird-related subjects.  Our meeting venue is Northern Rugby Club, McCracken Park, Great North Road, Newcastle, NE3 2DT. All meetings commence at 7.00pm and generally finish between 9.00pm-9.30pm, though a bar is available for post-meeting socialising.

Here are details of the presentations at the Indoor Meetings this Season, others to be arranged.

13th September
Dr Colin Bradshaw Northern Flights
With a liking for the landscape and birds of cold places, Colin talks about his travels in sub-Arctic zones of Europe.
11th October
AGM, followed by a talk by Graham Sorrie on Swifts. As most birders know swifts are having a hard time of it. Graham will tell us of his work at Morpeth to help them out.
8th November 2018 Rick Taylor, Community Outreach Officer, Scottish Borders.
An update from the South of Scotland Golden Eagle project, on the first translocations and releases this year, and following the progress of the three young eagles through their first winter.
13th December 2018   Dr Chris Redfern – “Terns and other Seabirds”.  Chris will tell us about his work with Arctic Terns on the Farne Islands, and the exciting news of their movements.
10th January 2019 Tom Cadwallender “The Birds of Sri Lanka”. Tom is going to tell us about a recent trip he made to this large Island.
14th February 2019. Professor Martin Collinson, Aberdeen University CSI BIRDING
DNA technology has advanced to the stage where migrant birds can easily be identified genetically using tiny samples of feathers. The talk will describe the advances and some of the key results from DNA –based identification in recent years. Do forensic techniques spoil birding as a popular hobby or enhance it?

14th March 2019.  Ian Fisher – “Australia – Birding the Edge of the Desert”.  Ian will talk about an exciting trip made at Easter 2018, part birding, part ringing expedition to Bowra “on the edge of the desert” in Queensland, then over into Northern New South Wales.

11th April 2019. Stuart Brooker – “The Dawn Chorus and Bird Song”.   Stuart is a PhD student in the Department of Biosciences at Durham University. In northern temperate zones, seasonal patterns in birdsong are closely tied to breeding cycles in birds, but we still do not fully understand daily patterns in song and why birds sing most intensely at dawn. Stuart will present his work investigating the dawn chorus across Great Britain, and how peaks and timings of the chorus vary with regional variation in climate and day length across the country. He will discuss his findings in terms of what is currently known of the chorus, and ask how the chorus, as we know it, might change under a warming climate.

Field Trips

The club arranges regular field trips mainly to local destinations. Most are generally one-day or half-day outings within and just outside of the club’s area  with transport by private car. All field trips offer the opportunity to meet other members and can be particularly beneficial to newcomers and younger members.

Sunday 28th April 2019
Langholm Harriers

Contact: Steve Anderson Email: seaswan@btinternet.com

Sunday 26th May 2019
Geltsdale RSPB Reserve

Contact: Steve Anderson Email: seaswan@btinternet.com

Saturday 22nd June 2019
Winnows Hill (Nightjars)

Contact: Steve Anderson Email: seaswan@btinternet.com

Sunday 18th August
Waders at Alnmouth (am) & Boulmer (pm)

Leader: Tim Dean, meet at Alnmouth Dunes Car Park 9-00am. See contacts page for email address

September 2019 (date tbc)
Musselburgh

Oct 2019 (date tbc)
Holy Island


Reviews for some NTBC Fields Trips 

Field Trip to Kielder on the 15th  May 2016 – Review by Sally Lee
The day dawned sunny and still for our very first field trip with the club which augured well.  We met with Martin and 6 other members of the club and set off to walk round the arboretum where, we were reliably informed we would see Redstarts as there had been several pairs the previous weekend.  Alas, none were to be seen although one was to be heard but too far away. We did see Flycatchers, Chaffinches, Siskins and a variety of Tits although not in great numbers.  We then set off through the forest towards Deadwater Fell.  En route, an elusive Blackcap was spotted well hidden in the trees and the highlight of the day, a male Goshawk displaying which we stopped to watch for some time.  We then headed to the summit where we saw Meadow Pipits, Ravens and Grouse.  Next stop was lunch at the top of Deadwater Fell overlooking the stunning scenery.  It was downhill from there, not literally of course.  Rather than the obvious route down, we took the more adventurous mountain bike track down to the track. Walking back through the forest, we learned why the word owl and an arrow were painted on a tree.  For those that don’t know, it is so that when they are clearing woodland, anyone approaching from behind the tree knows to avoid it as there is an owl box on the other side.  Then it was down onto the disused railway line back into Kielder for a well earned pot of tea at the Castle.  For us, as new members, it was an extremely informative and interesting day out thanks to Martin and our fellow walkers.

Field Trip to Geltsdale on the 22nd May 2016 – Review by Sally Lee
The sun was shining while we ate breakfast before setting out for our second field trip with the club.  We were met at the Visitor’s car park by Steve Westerberg, RSPB manager at Geltsdale who had stepped in as guide for the day.  By now, the sky was a threatening grey.  Steve had a plan, a female Hen Harrier had been spotted displaying and building a nest on the north side of the reserve opposite Cold Fell so we would head up that way.  Luckily Steve had brought his trusty Land Rover Defender so the 6 of us piled in and headed off.  First was the off road adventure which eventually brought us to just below the viewing hut on Cold Fell.  We could hear the cuckoo and then it was spotted in a tree on the other side of the valley.  Down came the rain and hail that had been threatening so we waited it out in the Land Rover before heading  up the fell disturbing a Grouse and her chicks on the way.  We arrived at the hut and the sun came out.  Unfortunately, the Hen Harrier didn’t and nor did the Merlin.  We saw Roe Deer and a Green Hairstreak and learned a great deal about the research carried out at the reserve including one very dear to Steve’s heart, the tracking of Whinchats, the first research of its type to be carried out.  We headed back down and a Whinchat was heard and seen when Steve trained his scope on it so we could all have a look.  Not a lot else was seen when we stopped on the way down but we still enjoyed it.  Many thanks to Steve for sharing his vast knowledge of the area with us.